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Riviera River Cruises plans to restart European river cruises on July 2 on Portugal's Douro River.
The eight-day "Douro, Porto and Salamanca River Cruise" will be operated by the 126-passenger MS Douro Elegance through late October. A four-day Lisbon extension is available on select departure dates.
Guests will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or a negative test prior to travel. If there's a cost for a COVID-19 test, Riviera will pay it.
Learn more about Riviera River Cruises
"We're thrilled to announce that we'll be welcoming guests aboard our Douro River cruises this summer," said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera's executive vice president-sales and marketing, North America. "While we're all eager to travel again, we'll still be taking precautions to ensure our cruises are safe for both your clients and our crew members. And, of course, we guarantee your clients will be happy with their cruise by the second day or we'll help bring them home with a full refund."
Riviera said it continues to evaluate travel guidelines throughout Europe and will restart operations on additional rivers when possible.
Included in its flexible customer care policies are COVID-19 cancellation and curtailment protection and Riviera's happiness guarantee. If a guest isn't able to travel specifically due to COVID-19, the booking can be transferred to another departure date for free with as little as 24 hours' notice. If a guest has to shorten their holiday due to COVID-19 and a travel insurer doesn't cover it, Riviera will provide compensation for the missed portion of the cruise. And if a guest isn't happy by the second day of their cruise, Riviera will help them get home with a full refund.
Health and safety practices include regularly disinfecting shared equipment and touchpoints, disinfecting suitcase handles, placing hand sanitizer throughout the ship, social distancing on coaches for excursions with temperature checks upon reboarding, providing contact-free services and full table service in restaurants with seating to allow for social distancing, daily temperature checks and ongoing health screenings for crew members and requiring face coverings for crew members where necessary.
Riviera River Cruises offers 20 itineraries on 10 rivers and waterways, including dedicated departures for solo travelers with no single supplement. Riviera's fleet of 12 ships is one of the youngest in Europe. Riviera promises never to add hidden surcharges or fees, and it doesn't automatically include gratuities or drinks, so the choice is up to guests.
Theresa Norton, editor in chief of AGENTatHOME Magazine, covers the cruise industry for TravelPulse.com.
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